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California Hospitals Question 2030 Earthquake Standards

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California hospitals are asking lawmakers to scale back some earthquake standards because they cost too much and might not be needed. Most hospitals in the earthquake prone state have met a 2020 deadline for standards designed to keep hospital buildings from collapsing in an earthquake. But a 2030 deadline requires hospital buildings to stay open after an earthquake. A study paid for by the California Hospital Association says to comply with the 2030 standards could cost as much as $143 billion. Labor unions are pushing back. Stephanie Roberson with the California Nurses Association says changing the regulations now would amount to a multibillion-dollar bailout on seismic safety standards. But California Hospital Association President Carmela Coyle said some hospitals might have to close if forced to comply with the 2030 standards.